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Art Teacher Schools and Training Programs

Learn about the requirements for becoming an art teacher at the K-12 or postsecondary level. Review bachelor's, master's and doctoral degree programs in art education, and find out what courses you'd need to take. Get info on choosing a school and program.

What You Need to Know

Aspiring art teachers should select a school offering a degree program that will allow them to teach at their desired level and courses in the specialized areas of art in which they are interested. Art teaching programs offer a range of courses in different types of art, art history, curriculum development and teaching. Public school art teachers will not only need a bachelor's degree but state teaching licensure as well. Those wanting to become a college professor will need to earn a master's or Ph.D.

Degree Options Bachelor's degree, master's degree, PhD
Courses Drawing, painting, ceramics, computer animation, sculpture, art history, photography and 3D design, classroom management, curriculum development, teaching strategies, art for special education.
Licensing State teaching license required to work in public schools

What Art Teacher Training Programs Are Available?

If you're interested in becoming a K-12 art teacher at a public school, you'll be required to complete a bachelor's degree program in art education. This will help you to meet your state's licensure requirements to become a teacher. You may find certification available at the elementary, middle or postsecondary levels. Depending on your professional interests, you can complete courses and internships to gain experience in these areas.

If you have already completed a degree program in art but have no teaching credentials, you can enroll in a teacher certification program that can be completed in as little as one year. In order to teach in a public school, you must be licensed by the state, though this may not be required by all private schools.

What About Graduate Programs?

To teach at the collegiate level, you must generally have earned a master's degree or Doctor of Philosophy (Ph.D.) in a subject like art education, art history or studio art. According to the U.S. Bureau of Labor Statistics, most universities prefer to hire professors with doctoral degrees for full-time, tenured positions (www.bls.gov).

How Can I Choose a School?

Before choosing a school you should focus your professional goals in order to enroll in the appropriate program, such as a bachelor's degree for an aspiring elementary school teacher or a Ph.D. if you want to become an art professor. If you have a particular interest in one specific area of art, like metalworking, printmaking, graphic design or photography, you may prefer schools that have the appropriate coursework and facilities for becoming a teacher in that subject.

If you're a working professional, like a K-12 art teacher, looking for an opportunity to advance your education, you may find online master's degree programs useful. Due to real-world teaching experiences required by bachelor's degree and certification programs, you may not be able to complete these educational experiences over the Internet. However, you may be able to complete art education programs online through lectures, examinations and courses.

This list of schools will help you to get started in your search for art teacher training programs:

  • SUNY Buffalo State
  • Illinois State University (Normal)
  • Delaware State University (Dover)
  • Queens College (NY)
  • East Carolina University (Greenville, NC)
  • School of the Art Institute of Chicago (IL)
  • University of Minnesota (Minneapolis)
  • The University of Iowa (Iowa City)

What Courses Will I Take?

In a bachelor's degree program in art education, you can expect to complete a student teaching experience where you will assist an experienced art teacher in his or her classroom. The curriculum of a teacher certification program may be specific to your state or depend on your previous educational and teaching experience. These topics might be covered in a bachelor's degree program:

  • Classroom management
  • Curriculum development
  • Teaching strategies
  • Teaching art
  • Art for special education
  • Drawing
  • Painting
  • Ceramics
  • Computer animation
  • Sculpture
  • Art history
  • Photography
  • 3D design

What Graduate Courses Can I Take?

Master's degree and Ph.D. programs include courses in subjects that might be similar in nature. You may be expected to complete a thesis for a master's degree program and a dissertation for a doctoral degree program. These courses might be included in your graduate program:

  • Research methods
  • Evaluation
  • Instruction methods
  • Educational policy
  • Differences in human learning
  • History and philosophy of art education
  • Supervision of art education
  • Museum education
  • Arts administration
  • Art criticism